May, 2018

February, 2018

  • How a chef cooks for those he loves

    13 February, 2018 How a chef cooks for those he loves

    Skipping the crowds in favour of a lovingly prepared meal at home is your best bet for a romantic Valentine’s Day. This is chef Jock Zonfrillo's idea of a nice night in.
    Read more…

January, 2018

December, 2017

October, 2017

September, 2017

  • Win a pro toastie pack

    18 September, 2017 Win a pro toastie pack

    Indulge in the ultimate comfort food with this kit, including a no-mess Breville press, a copy of Darren Purchese's Chefs Eat Toasties Too and a subscription to Cooked.
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August, 2017

July, 2017

June, 2017

  • Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    08 June, 2017 Winter entertaining with Gill Meller

    Gill Meller is in the country, his first time to Australia, showcasing his beautiful book Gather with a series of dinners and classes. We caught up with him to find out what's on the menu for his Aussie guests.
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May, 2017

April, 2017

February, 2017

January, 2017

December, 2016

October, 2016

September, 2016

August, 2016

July, 2016

June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

March, 2016

February, 2016

January, 2016

December, 2015

November, 2015

  • Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    27 November, 2015 Christmas basics: the perfect custard

    We're looking at those staple recipes that can make or break your Christmas spread. First up, the much-misunderstood sweet seductress, custard.
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  • Halfway Home

    16 November, 2015 Halfway Home

    I’ve been sugar-free for a total of two weeks, and things are going surprisingly well...
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  • Bubbles or nothing

    11 November, 2015 Bubbles or nothing

    Out to impress this party season? To take your entertaining game to the next level, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Halliday Wine Companion to share tips on matching sparkling wines to a range of show-stopping canapes.
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  • The anatomy of the perfect burger

    11 November, 2015 The anatomy of the perfect burger

    Looking for your next weekend challenge? Why not have a crack at making your own cheeseburgers from scratch? Chef Daniel Wilson shares the secret recipe to recreating his famed Huxtaburger, from bun to patty and everything in between.
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  • No Sugar November

    04 November, 2015 No Sugar November

    This month while the boys are growing staches, I’ll be growing a conscience about all the confectionary I consume.
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October, 2015

September, 2015

May, 2015

April, 2015

March, 2015

February, 2015

January, 2015

December, 2014

November, 2014

October, 2014

September, 2014

August, 2014

July, 2014

June, 2014

May, 2014

April, 2014

March, 2014

February, 2014

  • Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    27 February, 2014 Margaret Fulton's expert guide to preserves

    Jams, pickles, chutneys, sauces, compotes and conserves are the best way to preserve abundant produce so you can enjoy your fruit and veg all year round. Margaret Fulton shares her guide to the art of preserving.
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  • Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    27 February, 2014 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2014 | Our picks

    The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, running from February 28 to March 16, begins in just over a week. We’ve put together our picks of the fest.
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  • Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    24 February, 2014 Philippa Sibley's expert guide to sweet pastry

    Master of the dough Philippa Sibley shares her step-by-step guide to making sweet shortcrust pastry, taking you through everything you need to know to perfect the art of peerless pâte.
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  • In season | Eggplant

    21 February, 2014 In season | Eggplant

    The unsung hero of the nightshade family, eggplant is found in cuisines the world over. From Sicily to South East Asia, the Middle East to the Mediterranean, many signature dishes feature the versatile aubergine. We sing the praises of the humble eggplant.
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  • Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    17 February, 2014 Everything you need to know about cuts of pork

    Meat expert and chef Adrian Richardson explains the different cuts of pork, and what you should use them for.
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  • Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    14 February, 2014 Sticky business | A guide to meat on sticks

    Skewers, kebabs, shaslicks, yakitori … Whatever you call them, meat just tastes better when cooked on a stick. We share our tips to help you ace the skewers at your next barbecue.
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  • In season | Figs

    06 February, 2014 In season | Figs

    Figs evoke the flavours of exotic decadence. Sweet and visually striking, figs make for a decadent tart topper, a sumptuous sticky jam or a delightful savoury venture with cold meats. We share some of our favourite fig recipes.
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  • Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    05 February, 2014 Guide to styling handmade edible gifts

    There's nothing more thoughtful than a handmade edible gift. April Carter shares her tips and tricks for making beautiful and delicious treats for those you love.
    Read more…

January, 2014

December, 2013

November, 2013

The New Nordic: the elegant simplicity of Scandinavian cuisine

By
Hannah Koelmeyer
Added
29 April, 2015

So much more than a passing food trend or fad diet, the new Nordic cuisine is about embracing simplicity. Simon Bajada’s brand new book showcases the true beauty of Scandinavian food.

For the past decade, Scandinavian food has been slowly and humbly making its way to the forefront of a new culinary paradigm. The new Nordic cuisine, conceived by a group of reformist Nordic chefs, including Noma’s Rene Redzepi, and championed by chefs the world over, is about purity, simplicity and freshness, and of looking back at ancient, natural foods with a modern, playful eye.

Despite its lofty origins, the proponents the new Nordic are very clear that the approach is just as much about home cooking as it is about revolutionising restaurant culture. And international enthusiasm for the movement has brought renewed interest in the unique flavours and techniques used in simple Scandinavian cooking.

Simon Bajada, a chef, photographer and food stylist, originally from Melbourne but now living with his family in Sweden, brings together these elements of elegance and simplicity in Scandinavian home cooking in his new book, The New Nordic. I caught up with Simon to discuss what this graceful cuisine means to him.  

Q: You recently moved from Australia to Sweden with your family. Did you know very much about the cuisine before you moved there?

At the time I met my wife I was working in a kitchen in Stockholm, consequently it was only natural for me to research Nordic cuisine and look deeper on the many occasions we have visited Sweden over the years. I got a sense of the produce used and the balance of flavours, this was before new Nordic cuisine was understood as it is today. 

Hot-smoked salmon, roasted garlic & apple salad | Baked cauliflower & juniper soup

Q: What is the 'new' Nordic cuisine? What would you say are the underlying principles of Nordic cuisine? What are the factors that have shaped it?

Because the new Nordic cuisine is constantly evolving its hard to give a firm definition. It’s not a fusion of cuisines nor a reinterpretation of Nordic classics. It centres on an idea of celebrating Nordic produce, gathering what’s close to home and bringing it together on a plate using a mix of traditional and modern technique.

I think things that have shaped it include willingness of Nordic chefs to recreate their cuisine. The success of Noma has acted as a beacon in this respect gaining the attention of food lovers around the world.

Q: What is it about Swedish and Nordic food in general that inspires you? How is it different to Australia?

I believe there are lot of parallels in new Nordic and contemporary Australian. The taste differs because of the ingredients used but the idea to create balance with the best technique and produce is in common. For a while there, new Nordic cuisine seemed to only use Northern European ingredients but that is changing, similarly to modern Australian, [new Nordic cuisine is] taking bits and pieces from all over the world. I’m inspired by the newness in thinking of Nordic chefs. It’s easier for them to break the rules than say an Italian or French chef as they are not held down by the idea of "how its meant to be". 

Cinnamon buns | Berry & skyr popsicles

Q: Are there any particular Scandinavian ingredients you've fallen in love with?

There are some beautiful vinegars – cloudberry for example and –the range of grains, flours and smoked seafood is incredible.

Q: You've worked as a chef, stylist and photographer. The New Nordic sees you combining all of these skills. Talk us through the creation of a dish – what starts you off? Is it a set of flavours you need to create and everything else follows; do you see a prop that inspires a taste or texture; does the idea for the image come first? Or are all three inseparable? 

The chapters formed the framework of my thinking and I referenced them to a well-researched list I made of typical Nordic ingredients and flavours. I wanted to make sure all the flavours were represented by recipes. 

From there I aimed to balance imagery and aesthetic to the recipes I developed. It was a long and rewarding process!


The New Nordic is out now through Hardie Grant Books. Cooked members can access the whole book online, or buy the book in print for 30% off in the store.

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